Griffin stars as Ardfert shock Spa

Ardfert 1-12 Spa 0-10 (after extra time)

Kerry IFC final: Underdogs Ardfert came from behind to force an extra-time victory over favourites Spa in a thrilling Castleisland Co-Op Mart IFC final at Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney.

It was a game that Spa dominated in the opening half, thanks to the midfield prowess of Kerry junior star Andrew Garnett and Kerry minor captain Liam Kearney but their inability to take four gilt-edged goal opportunities cost them dearly.

Spa jumped 0-4 to 0-2 clear after 15 minutes thanks to frees from Kearney and Garnett and two fine points from Kerry minor defender Dan O’Donoghue and corner-forward Craig Hickey while Ardfert were kept in the game by two frees from David Griffin and John Dowling. Kearney continued to hurt Ardfert as they led 0-6 to 0-4 after 25 minutes but Ryan Carroll and Mike Finnegan had missed two great goal chances at that stage. Again before half-time, Ardfert keeper Nicky O’Sullivan denied Mike Finnegan with a stunning save and though Garnett converted the resultant ’45, Spa’s 0-7 to 0-4 half-time lead looked tenuous. Ardfert took over in the second half with John Egan converting a free and man of the match David Griffin adding a point, Spa were in trouble

It was tight and tense in the remaining 20 minutes with Mike Moloney equalising for Ardfert in the 50th minute and with no further score the game finished level.

In extra time, Spa lost their way up front while the Horgan’s Fionan and Rory along with Daniel Collins were heroic for Ardfert. Ardfert finished the stronger and the winning goal fittingly came when Shane Griffin set up David Griffin to find the net.

Scorers for Ardfert:D Griffin 1-3 (0-2 frees), J Egan 0-4 frees, S Griffin 0-2, J Dowling 0-2 (frees), M Moloney 0-1

Scorers for Spa: L Kearney 0-5 (0-4 frees), A Garnett 0-2 ’45’s, D O Donoghue, C Hickey and M O Donoghue 0-1 each:

SPA: J Devane, H O Donoghue, A Cahill, M Finnegan, D O Donoghue, S Lynch, E Cronin, A Garnett, L Kearney, B Russell, R Carroll, S Cronin, C Cronin, P Cronin, C Hickey

Subs: M O Donoghue for P Cronin ( 37), E Cronin for S Cronin ( 46), J Spillane for C Hickey ( 58), N O Mahony for R O Carroll( 58), S Cronin for S Lynch (e/t), C Hickey for C Cronin ( e/t)

ARDFERT: N O’Sullivan, F Horgan, R Horgan, N Clifford, D Collins , S Leen, M Moloney, J Dowling, T Wallace, K Shanahan, J Egan, D Griffin, M Ferris , S Griffin, Darran Wallace

Subs: B Barrett for D Wallace (45), J Wallace for T Wallace (50), T Wallace for M Ferris (e/t), Darran Wallace for S Griffin (B/C e/t)

Referee: P O Sullivan (Dromid Pearses)

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